Project Info

Architecture of the Central Nervous System in Nemathelminthes (Gastrotricha, Nematomorpha, Kinorhyncha, Priapulida, Loricifera)

The aim of this project is to investigate in detail the architecture of the nervous system of nemathelminth taxa with immunocytochemical and ultrastructural methods. The background is to reveal or substantiate hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships within Nemathelminthes and to outgroup taxa. For this purpose, the nervous system of representatives of the taxa Gastrotricha, Nematomorpha, Kinorhyncha, Priapulida and Loricifera will be investigated. Special attention will be paid to gastrotrichs and kinorhynchs. The phylogenetic position of gastrotrichs is under discussion and it will be attempted to reconstruct the nervous system of the gastrotrich ancestor through the investigation of a wide diversity of gastrotrich species. Kinorhynchs have a segmental organization of several organ systems, including the nervous system. Exact observations of the detailed structure and morphogenesis are of particular interest for considerations on the evolution of segmental patterns and for a potential relationship between arthropods and cycloneuralians (taxon Ecdysozoa).


PD Dr. Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Universitaet Bielefeld, Bielefeld